Impact Players

Najee Harris moves into top-5 rushers in Alabama history for yards and touchdowns

Najee Harris celebrates a rushing TD versus LSU in a 55-17 win for Alabama
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics/SEC Media Portal

If an ankle injury does not happen to Jaylen Waddle, Alabama football would have four Heisman candidates.

As it now stands, the Crimson Tide has three players that need to be discussed. One of the three has greatly improved its NFL Draft stock for 2021, especially after taking Nick Saban’s advice and returning for a senior season.

He has been a breath of fresh air, but Najee Harris has also become a complete player.

A senior from Antioch, Calif., he spent the summer training with Brad Lester (former Auburn running back) and Derrick Blaylock to create elite speed, explosiveness and endurance.

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Despite the National Football League not putting much value in drafting running backs in the first round, Harris will cause a team to make an exception for him. He started to click in last year’s meeting versus the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and the story did not change over the weekend. Harris had his way against LSU’s defensive front, recording 145 yards rushing with three touchdowns on 21 carries.

He averaged 6.9 yards per rush, while seven of his attempts went for either first downs or scores.

Two of Harris’ three scores came in the first half, as Alabama carried a 45-14 lead into halftime.

This was his second straight 100-yard outing in facing LSU, which makes Harris the second Tide player to dominate its SEC Western foe as a starter. In the last two meetings with the Tigers, DeVonta Smith is responsible for 444 yards receiving and five touchdowns on 15 catches.

He has recorded back-to-back 200-yard efforts on the premiere school in his home state. As for Harris, he now has 291 rushing yards with four scores on 40 carries in two years against LSU.

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Along with this, the former five-star has achieved 1,000 yards rushing for a second year in a row.

After collecting 1,224 yards in 2019, Harris chimes in with 1,038 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns on 169 carries. He has four 100-yard rushing performances and eight 100-yard games from scrimmage. Harris leads all backs in college football for rushing scores and is fourth for yards.

He is now fourth all-time in Alabama history for career yards (3,415) and third for rushing touchdowns (40).

The trio of Bobby Humphrey (3,420), Shaun Alexander (3,565) and Derrick Henry (3,591) are in front of Harris for yards, while Henry (42), Mark Ingram (42) and Alexander (41) are ahead of him for rushing scores. When it comes to total touchdowns, Harris (47) is second to only Alexander (50) in the category.

With him having one regular season game left and a shot to have three postseason matchups, Harris looks to put his name above all the legends on the list to represent the Tide.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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